The Passion narrative in John 19 is unequivocal: the life of Jesus ended in humiliation, abuse, abject betrayal, subjugation and utter failure. You might try to comfort yourself by arguing that Jesus was treated unfairly, however, in truth, the outcome of his life was a direct result of his Father’s teaching. In other words, in the gospel story, following God’s Torah leads to absolute defeat; a fact, St. Paul explains, that confounds religious people and attracts scorn from rational thinkers. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that from the beginning, Christians themselves have failed to embrace the gospel. That this failure is obvious, to be expected, and nothing new does not make it less painful.
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